Management buyout at Adams Consulting Group

(from left) Ranald Ord, David Adams and Barry McAllister
(from left) Ranald Ord, David Adams and Barry McAllister

Glasgow-based project management consultancy Adams Consulting Group (ACG) has been taken over by another shareholder, the firm announced today.

Majority shareholder and chief executive David Adams has sold the business to fellow shareholder Barry McAllister.

McAllister, who has been with ACG for over 12 years and with predecessor MPM Adams for a further eight, acquired the balance of the equity of ACG in a management buyout (MBO).

Following successful completion of the MBO, McAllister invited fellow director Ranald Ord to join him as an equity director.

They take over a practice which is currently involved with various commercial, education and renewable technology instructions across the UK, with a combined capital value in excess of £675 million.

Ord originally joined ACG during 2007 following completion of a hotel development in New Zealand. He subsequently gained experience with a national consultancy and one of Scotland’s leading developers before re-joining ACG during 2016.

David Adams’ role in the success of ACG and its predecessors spans three decades. Adams returned from working overseas in 1987 to set up a project management subsidiary for Glasgow quantity surveyors Muirheads Muir and Webster.

Under Adams’ leadership, Muirheads established itself as a leading project management consultancy, and Adams led an MBO in 1991, changing the name to MPM Adams.

The success of MPM Adams and its expansion into Manchester, London and Edinburgh brought it to the attention of Capita PLC who acquired the business in 1999, changing the name to MPM Capita. As a subsidiary of Capita Property Services, the company doubled its turnover to £15m inside three years.

After three years Adams decided to return to owner managed private practice and left Capita to establish ACG in 2003. Over the last 14 years the company has focused on the delivery of complex major projects and providing project governance services to institutional pension funds who invest in commercial property.

From its Glasgow base, ACG has worked on some of the UK’s most prestigious developments. These include the No.1 George Square office development and the new Victoria & Stobhill Hospitals in Glasgow, South Bank Tower in London and the new Medical Sciences building for the University of St Andrews.

Adams, who will continue to work with the company as a consultant on projects in London, St Andrews and Sao Paulo, Brazil, said: “I have been thinking for some time about managing the succession of the business and concluded that this was the right step. ACG is a specialist company which offers niche services to blue chip clients and the MBO retains the identity and independence of the company.”

McAllister added: “It is an exciting time for the business which is currently working on various landmark projects for clients across the country. These include Morgan Stanley’s Glasgow headquarters for HFD Group, the £1bn Paradise Circus regeneration of Birmingham city centre for Hermes Investment Management and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and over 1100 student bedrooms for University of St Andrews.

“We have a talented and committed team that have been together many years and we aim to expand on the good work and strong client relationships achieved under David’s leadership of the business.”

Financial advisor on the deal was Aidan McLaughlin of McLaughlin Crolla LLP, with lawyers Andrew Sleigh of BTO acting for the seller and Stephanie Farrell of Bellwether Green for the acquirer.

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